Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi, all: I used to go flying with my first wife's father as he kept his hours up. Bob had been a US Navy PBY pilot throughout the entire Pacific war and had seen the elephant. He was the most professional, precise pilot I've ever flown with. I idolized the guy back then, and my respect for him has only grown in memory.


 


The other day I was thinking of all the pilots I've known and how often they were people for whom I had the deepest appreciation. They were/are people whom it is a privilege to know.


 


My question is: who is your hero among the pilots you've known?


 


 


Link to post
Share on other sites

For this old lad there is only one, the great Chuck Yeager.. followed closely though by Bob Hoover..Teecee.

So you knew Chuck Yeager and Bob Hoover? At least that's what the original question posted was for ones you've known personally.

If so, that's pretty cool. I've seen Chuck a few times in person back in the late 80's when he used to fly at the Edwards AFB open house every October. Didn't speak to him, but was a few feet away from him each time I saw him. He'd be an interesting guy to have dinner with and hear his stories. I've also read both his books. I'm a fan as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No1 is my father, he was a tail gunner in bombers during the 2nd world war.

That was when the "tail end Charlie" was the prime target for the attacking fighters. I still have his "A/Gunner" chest badge that he wore.

He never spoke of it much, but I now know what he went through.

No 2 is my original flying instructor Arthur Turner who flew "Spitfires", also in WW2. He was a hard taskmaster and didn't suffer fools gladly, but I will never forget all he taught me.

I will never forget the day when he was near the end of the runway watching me on a solo circuit. Just as I flared out before touchdown I was hit by a 45 degree crosswind burst and he dived for the deck as I corrected and pulled up. I almost took his head off.

After I went round again and landed, I taxied back to the aeroclub and apologised profusely, but all he said was "don't worry about me...at least you saved the bloody aeroplane...they cost money"

Sadly he was killed whilst on duty for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it was Mike J. Dickinson.  He was a cropduster where I grew up in rural Louisiana.  He flew an open cockpit stearman and was one of the best in the business.  Instead of doing normal turns in and out of fields he did hammerhead turns to maximize his crop spraying effectiveness and to minimize his times away from the fields.  I am still amazed at the fact that he never stalled any of his airplanes that fully loaded with chemicals and being that low to the ground.  He gave me my first airplane ride at the age of 12 in one of his stearmans and I've been hooked ever since!! :)


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, easily.


 


Apart from fronting one of the biggest Rock Bands in the world, Bruce has been a world class fencer, ranking 7th in UK, brews his now famous real ales and a novelist too ... and I met him once :)


 


From Wiki, his Aviation stuff ...


 



170px-Bruce_dickinson_discovery.jpg
 





Bruce Dickinson in a flightsuit while filming Flying Heavy Metal.

 



Dickinson learned to fly recreationally in Florida in the 1990s and now holds an airline transport pilot's licence. He regularly flew Boeing 757s in his role as captain for the now-defunct UK charter airline Astraeus, which, from 16 September 2010, employed him as Marketing Director. One of his key roles in that position was to promote Astraeus' services by increasing their number of videos, leading to the UK Civil Aviation Authority releasing a video featuring Dickinson on aircraft loading safety in June 2011.


 


Following Astraeus' closure on 21 November 2011, Dickinson branched into entrepreneurship when he launched Cardiff Aviation Ltd on 1 May 2012, an aircraft maintenance business based at the Twin Peaks Hangar in St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. According to The Wall Street Journal, in January 2013 Cardiff Aviation had created 40 jobs and hoped to have over a hundred personnel by the summer of 2013. In June 2013, The Daily Telegraph reported that the business had expanded to between 60 and 70 employees and are in discussions to set up their own airline.


 


His role as a pilot has led to some high-profile flights, which include returning a group of British RAF pilots from Afghanistan in 2008, 200 UK citizens from Lebanon during the Israel/Hezbollah conflict in 2006, and 180 stranded holiday makers from Egypt following the collapse of XL Airways UK in September 2008. In addition, he flew Rangers F.C. and Liverpool F.C. to away matches in Israel and Italy in 2007 and 2010 respectively.


 


For the 2008–2009 "Somewhere Back in Time World Tour," he piloted Iron Maiden's chartered Boeing 757, dubbed "Ed Force One", specially converted to carry the band's equipment between continents, which subsequently led to a documentary film, Iron Maiden: Flight 666. Dickinson flew "Ed Force One" again for "The Final Frontier World Tour" in 2011.


 


In 2014, Dickinson purchased a Fokker Dr.I triplane replica G-CDXR and joined the Great War Display Team, which re-enacts First World War air battles at airshows across the UK.


 


Now that takes some beating, he's also beaten Cancer too.  http://www.axs.com/news/bruce-dickinson-update-singer-expects-to-make-full-recovery-from-cance-42988


 


F49E60A5E.jpg

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wendy Peters, my lady Instructor who kept my spirits up and stopped me throwing in the towel during my re-training for the Australian license. I could fly anything as long it had a stick between my knees and a throttle on my left but I had the devil of a time controlling the aircraft on final and the flare holding a yoke with my left hand and the throttle with my right hand. They continually tried to swap roles which made the approach a frightening, cavorting spectacle. When I was a small kid, anyone who tried to hold the pencil in his or her left hand got whacked with the ruler by teacher so, I grew up with a very strong right hand dexterity and almost none with my left hand. Nobody agreed with me but I demonstrated by taking a glass filled to the brim with water across the room, first holding it in my right hand, not a drop was spilled. Repeating this holding the glass in my left hand half the water was gone before I got half way.


 


Actually I have just realized, I might have started a new thread, is any one right handed to the point where it causes a problem flying from the left seat with a yoke and having the engine controls in the middle.


Link to post
Share on other sites

"So you knew Chuck Yeager and Bob Hoover?"


 


Of course not..I simply mis-read the question. Anyway, I did warn you that i am an old guy, and we are allowed to get things wrong.....Teecee.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me!  Can't think of another person I'd rather have at the controls when I'm in an airplane.  ^-^


 


Partly kidding, of course.  Actually I have a great deal of respect for several aviators I have known through the years...many of them being air force and navy pilots.  And, yes, Ole' Chuck is right up there at the top of the list with a couple of others.  I should mention I had some awesome instructors when I was learning to fly years ago, as well.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Richard de Crespigny. One of the best books I have read and would recommend to anyone who hasn't read it is his book QF32. I am not an avid reader but this book was finished in two days. It really gives you faith in modern airline safety in the face of disaster and this particular QANTAS flight is very well described by the captain of this A380 and the challenges him and his crew went through. Do yourself a favour and read it :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter Besenyei, Hungarian aerobatics champion and inventor and founder of the Red Bull Air Race.


Can't say I know him but I met him at the 2006 Perth air race and we had a little chat.


 


He hasn't the best run of late in the air race but he's still my hero.


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I worked for America West Airlines, Captain Mike Soha. I met him when I was a flight attendant. Very professional, a great communicator. He taught me a great deal about the "flow and interaction between the flight and the cabin crew". I was always at ease under his command. We became friends outside of work, as well. Ski trips, parties and we still remain friends.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I have two:


 


1. Dean C. Smith. 1920's air mail pilot; flew for Adm. Byrd on the first two missions to the South Pole; seniority #1 with American Airlines; and friend of the family. He's the reason I became a professional pilot.


 


2. Barry Meeker. Childhood friend through 8th grade after which we drifted apart for 25 years, but met again at a CFI refresher course at which time we were both flying helicopters. He was always a friend but became my hero when I learned, though not from him, that he had been shot while extracting refugees from behind the Iron Curtain in a helicopter; he was declared persona non grata in the Eastern Bloc. I have always suspected but never been able to confirm that it was a CIA operation. Tragically, he was killed when a torque link on his corporate Bell 222 failed in flight en route to the shop for a replacement part.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...